Mingus Mapps tonight easily defeated incumbent Chloe Eudaly for the City Council Position 4 seat.
In early returns Tuesday night, Mapps leads Eudaly by 13 percentage points, 56% to 43% but the first tranche of votes released contains about 70 percent of registered voters. With turnout expected to be in the low 80s, it is impossible for Eudaly to catch up.
Updated at 9:12 pm:
In a brief concession speech, Eudaly did not try to hide her disdain for Mapps, whom she did not congratulate and said she had not yet called.
"This is a sad day for Portland," Eudaly said. "We were poised to have one of the most progressive City Councils in history but, with the wins by Ted Wheeler and Mingus Mapps, we've taken a step back.
"It's a win for big business, the landlord lobby and the police union," she continued. "It's unfortunate that voters couldn't see more clearly."
Eudaly said she's really proud of the work her team had done to further tenants' rights, transportation equity and for people who hadn't previously had a voice in City Hall.
In closing, she returned to her disdain for Mapps. "I think Portland is in for a surprise when they realize who they've elected," she said. "He's good at saying lots of words without actually saying anything."
Mapps, a former political science professor, last worked for the Office of Community & Civic Life, from which he was fired. That departure teed him up to be the protest candidate for neighborhood activists and real estate interests who were seeking an alternative to Eudaly.
The first-term commissioner stumbled badly when she set out to reform the city's 95 neighborhood associations through her oversight of OCCL. Eudaly also angered real estate and development interests with tenant protections that were long overdue, but came at a cost to landlords.
Eudaly, who owned the North Mississippi Avenue zine store Reading Frenzy before challenging Commissioner Steve Novick in 2016, seemed to forget the lesson of that election: If voters think elected officials are imperious or dismissive, they will make changes. Eudaly won a three-way primary in May over Mapps and the third-place finisher, former Mayor Sam Adams, but her campaign for most of the summer languished.
Mapps didn't run much of a campaign either, and he made the questionable choice of accepting an endorsement and $15,000 from the Portland Police Association in the primary. But in the end, he didn't have to do much more than prove to voters he wasn't Eudaly. Tonight, that seemed to be enough.
In a statement, Mapps took the high road.
"I want to thank Portland-I am humbled that I will be able to serve a city that I love. I want to thank my team, they have become family. I thank everyone who volunteered for this campaign, for everyone that voted for me and I want to thank my two sons; they have been on this journey with me," Mapps said.
"I also want to thank Commissioner Eudaly for her service to this community and for all she has done to make Portland better. Like me, she loves Portland and Portlanders. I also want to take this opportunity to thank her volunteers and supporters and everyone who voted for her. Portland has a lot of work to do to rebuild and make our City work for everyone and tomorrow a new chapter begins."